Key panel to finalise power sharing deal in Nepal

A key panel was set up by the Maoists and CPN-UML to finalise a power sharing deal.

Last Updated: Feb 05, 2011, 21:53 PM IST

Kathmandu: A key panel was set up by the
Maoists and CPN-UML to finalise a power sharing deal as the
two parties held consultation to form a new government, with
Jhalanath Khanal scheduled to be sworn in as the new Prime
Minister on Saturday.

60-year-old Khanal, who was elected the new prime
minister on Thursday, held discussions about cabinet formation
with Maoist chairman Prachanda, whose support won him the
majority in Parliament, ending the seven months political
deadlock.

The CPN-Maoist and CPN-UML formed a six member joint
task force to decide on power sharing, according to sources.

Khanal is likely to form a small cabinet tomorrow.
Khanal, president of the Communist Party of
Nepal (United Marxist-Leninist), is likely to take oath of
office and secrecy tomorrow from President Ram Baran Yadav,
who arrived from state visit to India today.

Nepali Congress and three Madhesi parties,
MPRF-Democratic, Terai Madhes Democratic Party and Sadbhawana
Party have decided to sit in the opposition.

Upendra Yadav, the president of MPRF, said if the
government shows positive signs of addressing the concerns of
the Madhesi community, his party might consider joining the
government.

At the same time, Jaya Prakash Gupta, co-chairman of
MPRF, warned that his party will seek to begin the process to
find an alternative to Khanal if the new government fails to
make progress on key tasks of concluding the peace process and
integration of the former Maoist combatants with the Army.

He said the government must complete the task of
drafting a new constitution by May-end and settle the number
of Maoist combatants to be integrated into the Army.

Khanal was elected the prime minister on Thursday in a
three cornered contest, ending the seven-month deadlock over
the formation of a new government after Maoist supremo
Prachanda quit the race in his favour in a last minute deal.

PTI